Neon & Stripes

Hello friends!!!  Sorry it’s been such a long while since I’ve done a proper blogpost.

Summer days lead to summer nights…and I’ve been making the most of both so far this July.

Hope you are doing the same. 🙂

Guess what I’ve managed to do?  I finally introduced some NEON into my summer wardrobe!

It’s everywhere.  You’ve seen it.  I just didn’t know how to pull it off myself.  But then I found this body con dress from Rainbow Shops on my last cross-boarder shopping trip earlier this Spring for a super steal of a price.  And it’s been hanging in my closet with tags on ever since.

I finally had the nerve to wear it while I was in Ottawa over Canada Day Long Weekend.  (Stay tuned to the blog for a recap of my trip…coming soon!)
IMG_8023The centre colour block of neon with the bold black and white strips down the sides of this body hugging midi length frock, make this a very loud and vibrant look.  Especially when worn at night …  So I made sure to keep accessories, shoes and purse solid black and simple, to avoid adding any more noise to this outfit.

During the hot summer months, neon is quickly becoming something I want to wear more of.  I’ve been looking for the perfect chartreuse pieces to introduce into my wardrobe next. Preferably in a pump 😉

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How I Got The Look:  Neon & Stripes dress from Rainbow Shops; Jelly shoes from my AsianAdventure 

 

Have you jumped on the neon bandwagon this summer?  If you’re nervous about it, start small. Go for a piece of jewelry with neon stones, neon nails, or a neon belt.

Are you following me on INSTAGRAM? If so, you’ve likely seen a few more pics and video clips as I took them during my trip.  Search for the hashtag: PPMeowTravels to see more of my adventures and outfits there.

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Backless Nautical Navy

Ooo!!  It’s summertime and I have to admit, I’ve been baring my arms and legs much more than I ever had in pervious summers.

Blogging has gotten me braver in my outfit choices and more confident to rock things I’d normally shy away from.  Like this fantastic dress I picked up cross-border shopping recently … I was immediately drawn to it on the rack.  Buuuuut upon picking it up I noticed that an important piece of fabric was missing ….that critical piece of fabric that covers up my giant bra clasps and that loveable back roll that gets formed upon wearing said giant bra.

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Doesn’t this dress just SCREAM: Summer!!!  I just love it!

The hi-lo skirt is perfect for petite beauties as there will be zero ‘tripping-up-the-stairs’ incidents as there might be with lengthy maxis (least it’s the case for moi…seems I’m terribly clumsy).  I’ve already professed my love and devotion to all the nautical-ness in fashion since the Spring…so this dress just needed to be mine!   Click here and here and here and here for all my previous nautical love posts friends!

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A special shoutout to the lovely coral floral necklace and earring set I’m wearing in this post.  Picked it up from this cute lil’ boutique called One Girl Who on St. Clair West in Toronto.  Recently rediscovered it among all my jewellery….. doesn’t it just add to the summertime fun feeling of this outfit?  🙂

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How I Got The Look:

Backless Navy Striped dress from Rainbow Clothing from recent Cross-Border shopping trip; Coral floral necklace & earring set from The Girl Who; Pink purse from Your Big Sister’s Closet; White & gold sandals from Le Chateau

20140626-145729-53849110.jpgSo… waddya think about the backless-ness of this dress?  Would you rock it? How would you style it?   I wanna know what you think friends….tell me in the Comment Section below!

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Speed Dating with 25Dates.com

So, if you’re a 30-something who’s looking to meet a good guy to date before (hopefully) finding one to call your ‘boyfriend’ …. how does one find HIM?  Dating is tough.  Dating after divorce, tougher.  Dating as a petite plus sized beauty, even tougher.  (Click here to link to a clip from Louie to see what I’m talking about).    I’m not one to write about dating advice nor do I want to start recapping all my adventures in dating via this forum…but I recently found a GroupOn for a speed dating event with 25Dates.com … and since Petite Plus, Meow! is both a fashion AND lifestyle blog, I wanted to share my experience and thoughts in this review with ya …. along with my outfit choice.

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How It Works:

In one night, you will sit down, one on one for up to 25 three-minute dates.  You will decide who you like, and who you would like to see again. It could be 5 people, it could be all 25!  Now we all know there’s nothing without mutual chemistry, so the 25 people you talk to will also be deciding if they want to see you again.  If there is a mutual match, your contact info is forwarded to them, and theirs to you. You are then free to explore your connection.  Typically, the cost for a ‘regular event’ like the one I attended is $50.

The GroupOn voucher allowed me to attend this event for $25…plus HST once you secure your spot for an upcoming event via 25Dates.com’s site for a date and location and age group that best suited your preference.

Sounded like a good deal.  But then I thought, “Do I really want to be meeting men who used a GroupOn to participate in this dating avenue?”

I’ve found with dating in general, it’s best to keep hopes high, but expectations looooow! 😉  I’m thinking these men clearly made some effort in searching out and investing in this event and possibly share a similar view on value vs. money  – which is an important characteristic to have in common I think – so why the heck not!

What I Wore:

I picked up this dress from my recent cross border shopping trip from Rainbow Clothing at a fantastic $15!!  I decided that it was smart-casual enough with just the right about of cleavage to be “date appropriate”.  After all, the mission was to get handsome, eligible bachelors to mark ‘yes’ beside my name in their scorecards after a mere 3-mins of chit-chat and banter.  A girl’s gotta use all her assets, so to speak, to hook a guy’s interest at warp-hyper-speed 😉

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The Event:

The event I signed up for fell on a Thursday night hosted by Vagabondo Italian Resto + Lounge, a really nice upscale spot just east of the Financial District, specific to Women 30-40 and Men 35-45.

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Upon arrival I found the facilitators of 25Dates.com to be a bit disinterested.  In fact, there were no official welcomes or icebreakers or formal introductions by the 25Dates.com reps at all.  As participants trickled into the venue they were given a scorecard, name tag and a quick rundown  as to how the evening was going to unfold: Women to sit on one side of table, Men would do the actual rotating around from table to table.  And that was it.  If you arrived at the designated time, you were then left on your own until the event official began.  I made my way to the bar and ordered a drink – as you’re left to fend for yourself – the fee for this event supposedly covered hors d’oeuvres, but I personally didn’t see any.  Those who did said they were sad state of affairs and not nearly enough for everyone in attendance to have a taste.

Considering how much time was allotted to the ‘registration’ portion of the evening, I think 25Dates.com should have included a free drink (or two) instead of hors d’oeuvres with the price of the ticket.  This way EVERYONE gets one and a little liquid courage is always helpful, possibly needed and appreciated in a meet-market-event like this one.  Also, another benefit to this ‘first drink free’ approach … the facilitators could/should be encouraging everyone to mingle in the bar, rather than having people sit alone at tables until the event was ready to begin.  I mean, isn’t that the whole point of this event?  An opportunity to meet new people.  It’s uber difficult to get motivated enough to come out and try an event like this in the first place, so it’s critical that the facilitators create a more welcoming environment, create rapport building opportunities perhaps by way of some general ice breaker activities to get people comfortable and chatting, prior to the exclusive 3-min one on one dates.  Just my two cents.

As the name of the event and company implies, I was expecting to meet at least 25 guys.  But there were maybe 16 men at most.  With this reduced attendance turnout, you’d think the facilitators could/would modify the event and increase the 1:1 time for each meeting, but this wasn’t the case. Again, another improvement that could have been made that would ultimately benefit all attendees.  Also, it seemed that the facilitators didn’t really factor in the time it takes for these men to get up and rotate from table to next table…which ate into the precious 3-min timeline of the next mini-date.  Not cool.

When the event ended, everyone hands in their scorecards to the facilitators….if you have matches (that is, you picked them AND they picked you), 25Dates.com will send you an email with your matches’ email address – and then its up to the two of you to take it from there!  What I found interesting about the attendees of this event is how quickly people cleared out of the venue once the event concluded.  I mean, if you did  select ‘YES’ to someone, isn’t this now the perfect opportunity to chat them up a bit more, have a drink with them, grab a bite to eat, etc.?!    Since I had plans to meet up with a gf afterwards, I made my way back to the bar and chatted up the last two participants (a guy and girl, friends who work together) and we debriefed our experiences of the night together.  Much of my above thoughts and overall mediocre impressions of the event resonated with them also.

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The Results:

I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the calibre of men at this event.  Most of whom worked for financial institutions, like myself, were dressed well and seemed generally positive.  This is a nice change from what I’ve been finding on free internet dating sites.  It does seem that if men have some ‘skin in the game’, i.e. made an effort and shelled out some cash to be a part of a dating/introduction event like this, they seemingly put in more of an effort.  Click here and here for my previous thoughts on the Art of Manliness.)

Needless to say that after my 16-mini dates, there wasn’t an instant love connection with any of them.  11 of them seemed very interested in reviewing my CV in full, asking job-realted-interview type questions.  Sigh… guess its sort of default topic, but seriously, asking me ANYTHING else would have made for a more enjoyable mini-date.  Of all the dudes I met….5 gents really held my attention.  Those who made it to the YES category of my scorecard were those who DIDN’T ask me about work right off the bat, those who not only dressed well but uniquely with a bit of swagger in their own personal style, and last but certainly not least, were Tall and Handsome 🙂

Turns out 4 of the 5 men I selected YES to, picked me as well!  Since I couldn’t remember what any of these dudes looked like, I used their email addy’s to find and friend them on Facebook.  And so far have already begun chatting and making plans with two in particular ……weeeeeee!  So there you have it – speed dating, way better experience than online dating.  Buying the voucher via GroupOn pricing for this event was of fair value, but had I paid the full price for this event with 25Dates.com I would have been very disappointed.

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How I Got The Look:

Coral & navy patterned faux wrap dress from Rainbow Clothing; Brown sandals from Payless; Purse from Guess; Gold bracelet Michael Kors watch + gold drop earrings AND new fantastic lipstick: Rouge Artist Intense by Make Up Forever

20140613-163031-59431061.jpgHave you ever gone Speed Dating?  What were your thoughts and experience like? Would you go again? Why/Why not?  Tell me in the Comments section friends.

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Cross-Border Shopping Extravaganza

After the Victorian Tea event at Your Big Sister’s Closet last month, I met a delightful lady with whom an instant friendship was born.  Turns out this chick, Annika Reid is the chief designer and owner of Candi Apple Couture (who was soon to be launching into the bloggosphere)  struggles with finding affordable bra options in Toronto.  Naturally, our tea-time conversation quickly turned to planning a road trip to Buffalo to empty all of the Lane Bryant locations of their Cicaque bras!!!  Annika had yet to learn of the magic of this brand – and I was more than happy to show her what a proper fitting bra could do.  🙂

So we took a day off work and left for the border bright and early …. but first a stop at currency exchange followed by the church of i.HOP…their Strawberry Banana Cream Pie Pancakes is an AMAZING and religious experience!  God is Good!

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Now…this was meant to be a very purposeful and focused cross border trip.  There is absolutely no reason for me to be shopping.  My closet is full and my shoe selection ample.  This trip’s Mission was strictly for  Over-The-Shoulder-Boulder-Holders!  Buuuuut some how the following sofa-full of bags ended up coming home with me….

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My Shoe Haul!

The deals on footwear in my size were just too good to pass up friends…. soooo this happened:

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This was my very first time visiting Torrid … and I must say, when they throw a sale…they mean business!!  Check out these two pairs I got from them:

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Torrid: Black High-top platform kicks $14!!!
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From Torrid:  suede black sling-backs with gold pointed studs were $5! (I signed up for their store card…and got them for $2.50!!! Crazytown!)
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Payless:  each pair was $17!!!! Naturally I had to get them in ever colour that fit my feet!! 🙂

 

Then of course, we had to stop at the NineWest Outlet … they’ve never let me down yet…and with their Buy one Get one 1/2 off, these two babies became mine:

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Kate Spade New York

I’ve been eyeing the Kate Spade bags for sometime now, but wasn’t sure if I was a “Kate Spade kinda girl”.  But then I saw this paten-leather stripped beauty in the window, whist waiting for the girls to find WiFi service within the mall…..and I was hooked.  I visited this shop TWICE before making my decision.  I cradled and petted it.  Wore it with its detachable cross-body strap.  Held it by its handle and walked around the store a bit to see if I liked the look and weight of it.  It was beautiful.  But, did I really need another designer purse?

Then a conveniently placed shop-girl quickly informed me that this particular bag was not only discounted at 40%….but there was an ADDITIONAL 20% off this bag TODAY ONLY!!!!   Well…that did it friends!  She.  Was.  Mine!  🙂

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Dresses 

As I mentioned above, I truly set off with good intentions to keep my wallet tight….I had no intention of buying additional clothes this trip.  Buuuuut then this happened….

The girls took me to a shop I’d never been before called: Rainbow.    I was immediately drawn to this fantastic nautical cut-out hi-low dress….but at first glance I was too intimidated by it.  But upon trying it on – I really really really loved it!  And have been kicking myself for not buying it in the summer-tastic teal colour it came in as well as the navy I picked up.  It pays to go shopping with two pushy chicks I tell ya 😉  (Thanks again ladies! You make be brave!)

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Rainbow: Hi-low nautical stripes cut-out dress was $16!!!

I did end up buying TWO more dresses….a scalloped neck and hemlines lace dress from DressBarn ($39) and a coral-navy patterned faux wrap dress from Rainbow ($15!).  I ended up wearing this one to this Speed Dating Event I recently attended …. stay tuned on my blog post on that friends 😉

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Oh…did we buy bras?  You bet we did!!!  Lane Bryant’s Cacique bra selection goes right up to F, G and H-cup …. and they often have Buy one, Get one 1/2 off sales also!  Which typically means this girl can get up to FOUR bras for less than the price of one in Toronto that doesn’t need to be custom ordered and fitted by a pricy lingerie shop.

Sadly, the selection was rather limited in terms of the styles vs. sizes needed this time around — strongly recommend you pre-order if you’re making a trip out there specifically for bras friends.  I did pick up a deep plunge for those dresses that are cleavage specific, a perfect tee-shirt bra, a racer back lace french cut and a regular lace french cut.  Curious of what these look like?  Click here and visit their site friends 😉

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All smiles with full bellies, empty wallets, and sore voices from all the Car-aoke singing all the way back to Toronto. ROAD TRIP COMPLETE! Woot! Woot!

 

There you have it!  A Breakdown of my Cross-Border Extravaganza and Shopping Haul!  It was a fantastic day.  How many of y’all go cross border shopping on the regular?  Would anyone be interested in coming along if Petite Plus, Meow! + Candi Apple Couture were to HOST a cross border shopping trip in the near future?  Tell us what you think of this idea in the comments section friends….and we’ll take it from there 🙂

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